Crowning Champs: Buckingham Scholastic Bowl Team wins state title

Published 5:12 am Wednesday, March 15, 2023

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DILLWYN – For the first time in more than 47 years, the Virginia High School League’s Scholastic Bowl State Championship is coming to Buckingham High. The Knights brought home the title after competition on Saturday, Feb. 25. The Buckingham Scholastic Bowl Team sat down with The Herald this past week to talk about their experiences this year and what it means to be state champions. 

“This is definitely a very proud moment,” said Chance Woodson, senior and captain of the team. “As a freshman, this was sort of an apex I wanted to reach, so it’s very satisfying.”

Since the second week of August, the team has practiced multiple times a week, spending their time going over a variety of questions and subjects. At the state competition, they beat three other teams, defeating Poquoson 205 to 165; beating Richlands 210 to 145 and eliminating Gretna 230 to 90. 

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According to Scholastic Bowl Varsity Head Coach Ryan Peede, this win is the second state championship for the school in any sport. It’s also the first state win in Scholastic Bowl since 1975. 

How the competition works

During the competition, the team participated in matches that were broken into three rounds. The first round consisted of a toss-up of questions, the second had two sets of direct questions that the teams could choose from before going back to a toss-up round for the last one. If the players answered correctly they won 10 points but could lose five points if incorrect so they had to be careful. 

“What’s great to see at these competitions is the sportsmanship,” said William Payne, a senior on the team. “In the end, everyone had fun. We shake hands and no one is getting upset or being a sore winner.”

The questions came from a variety of subjects that require players to be familiar with a range of topics. It helps with the team members’ education as well, as some topics overlap with what they’re learning in the classroom. That includes things like literature, history, mathematics and science. With all questions mixed together, a team has to be prepared for anything. 

Woodson claims top scorer title

Along with the state title, Woodson was the top scorer of the state. He earned this title by a fairly large margin as he scored 400 points with the second-place title winning 315 points.

“It’s very humbling and I’m very proud but it inspires me to be better and improve,” said Woodson. “Overall I want to improve my performance as I want to pursue being on a scholastic bowl team at the collegiate level.”

As a majority of the team are seniors, the team has experienced many benefits to being part of the team throughout their high school experience. According to Payne, being on the team has helped improve his grades, especially in math, as the questions they study often line up with what they are learning in the classroom. According to Woodson, being the captain of the team has helped improve his leadership skills.

“Joining this scholastic bowl team has helped me make new friends and learn sportsmanship,” said Albert Yeung, another senior on the team. “Also, when it comes to working with my peers and talking to students at other schools it really helps develop strong communication skills.”

What’s next for Buckingham Scholastic Bowl Team?

Now that the state championship is over, the Buckingham Scholastic Bowl Team is working hard to prepare for the next step. They will be competing for the national title on Memorial Day weekend in Atlanta, Georgia.